Hausify is a a property management platform for German speaking markets. The users of the Hausify problem struggle figuring out how to manage their tasks.
How can we improve the Hausify ticketing system in order to streamline the users processes, improve accessibility, and reduce the time spent on task management?
A new simplified and restructured task management solution divided into two separate features.
Giedre Motiejunaite & Michelle Cheng
Material UI + react admin
The platform is bound to using Material UI and React Admin frameworks. We had to take these frameworks into consideration - follow MUI standards, as well as keep the top and side navigation as is.
Hausify clients consist of primarily small to medium sized property management companies. The majority of end users are managers above 50 years old. They are not tech savvy, work in small teams and get on average 20 claims a week regarding property issues.
Helga is a 58 year old property manager of 12 buildings in Steglitz. A lot of other property managers are starting to use all sorts of digital solutions for managing their properties. Unfortunately, she is very confused about how to use them and needs a clear solution.
“Everything is confusing, I don’t understand all these complicated tools with so many small buttons.”
Accessibility is crucial for the good user experience of this platform, especially when we take into consideration Hausify's target group. In order to achieve great legibility and AAA contrast, we have updated the colour palette, adjusted font sizes and weights. We also worked on creating and adjusting icons to be simple, represent the features in an easy to understand way, and fit Material UI style.
The old product structure contained 4 states of tasks (otherwise called tickets), including incoming claims from tenants regarding new issues. As those new claims were not yet approved and could possibly be rejected, it brought a lot of confusion to the users on the logic of the process level.
We have analysed the competitors within the industry, and various task management tools in order to find out best practices. As a lot of direct competitors had a focus on tenant management rather than property maintenance, we have focused on replicating a real life user flow for the property managers to create a simple and clear product.
The new structure is built on 2 core blocks: the notification centre and the task board. The notification centre is used to manage all the incoming claims and updates regarding specific tickets. The task board serves as a clear overview for the ongoing tasks.
New structure of the product lead to new interactions. In order to understand if everything works correctly we created user flows. We focused on two/three/four tasks: creating new ticket, editing existing one, and [...]
We designed a notification centre to have a clear divide between incoming claims and the ongoing tasks. Since a claim comes from a tenant and is not yet accepted, it cannot be a task yet. The claims might be repetitive, already dealt with, or have other reasons for not being an actual task. Therefore, the manager needs to have some sort of place to sort out the claims and accept them, if they are fitting.
The focus of the task board is to make it as simple as possible for the users. After researching different task boards on the market we decided to strip down all the unnecessary features, and focus on only the core functionality. The tickets can be edited, dragged to different columns, and marked as done.
As some tasks need to be input manually by the manager, we designed a task creation feature, including saving it as a draft. Considering the specificities of the job (requiring to know the exact building and location of the issue), there was a high need to have a clear indication when the task information is not completely filled in.
Since Hausify uses Material UI as their design library, we based our design on it too. We have themed it to fit the new branding refresh, and adjusted the sizing due to our users needing bigger fonts and components due to their vision being worse than average. Furthermore, using Material UI allows the development team to implement any changes quickly. Also, they can build on top of our solution without adjusting the style of the product.
Once the first prototype was done, we tested it with multiple testers.
We found out that the target users have some accessibility issues. Most common issue was sizing of fonts and smaller components, like buttons.
The broader audience received the prototype in several different ways, which allowed us to see how potential new users could use the platform and what issues they might encounter, e.g.:
People with experience from call centres heavily emphasised on ticket numbers. It is an interesting feature, but does not fit our use cases. Hausify users primarily refer to their tickets during communication with external contractors and people outside of their internal system. Therefore, the visible ticket number would just clutter the interface without any valuable data for the user.
Testers with no previous task management tools experience were confused about placement of input fields on the right and overlooked them. This lead us to believe that we should have more extensive testing regarding the location of input fields in the ticket creation flow.
During user testing and afterwards expanding our research, we found out that one of the main focus points for future development should be user onboarding. As the primary user is not tech savvy and most likely does not have any prior experience with digital task management boards, they would need some sort of introduction to show how the product works and what they can do with it.
thx for reading!